The conflict in Ukraine has injected chaos into global energy markets, and Americans are feeling first-hand the pain at the pump as a result. With the national average of gasoline well above $4 per gallon, policymakers in Washington are scrambling to find solutions that reduce costs for consumers.
In the heartland, the private sector has been quietly chugging away, increasing supplies to drive down prices while continuing to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.
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One such company is Liberty Energy. The Denver, Colorado-based firm offers many services, including hydraulic fracturing with state-of-the-art equipment that is three times quieter than competitors; sand containment that reduces dust and noise pollution on fracking sites; and analytic solutions that increase the efficiency of its fracking wells.
While energy production is Liberty’s business, it is not their only focus.
In its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, called Bettering Human Lives, Liberty unveiled the many ways in which the company has looked beyond the traditional scope of fossil fuels and fracking to serve and improve the lives of people globally.
One of the biggest environmental issues that Liberty sees in the world is energy scarcity.
“Energy access for the world’s least fortunate is not only a social goal for Liberty, it is a driving principle upon which the company was founded,” the report says.
Indeed, on a global level, energy poverty affects hundreds of millions. In 2019, 940 million people did not have access to energy, which comprised 13% of the world’s population. Historically this number is trending downward. In 1990, 29% of the globe did not have electricity access. By 2016, the number fell to 13%.
Additionally, some 40% of the world’s population does not have access to clean cooking fuels, one of the primary factors that contributes to over 3.8 million deaths from indoor air pollution every year.
As Liberty points out, reducing energy poverty is critical to continuing the global trend of economic prosperity and environmental progress.
“Continuing the last several decades of unprecedented progress in the human condition requires massive increases in affordable, reliable energy for the world’s poorest countries and the poorest citizens in the world’s middle income and wealthy nations.”
To alleviate energy poverty, Liberty helps produce critical energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner.
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One way is through logistics. Liberty is strategically located in all of the key oil and gas production basins in the lower 48 states, meaning fewer trips are needed to and from work sites, which reduces fuel consumption and miles driven in operations.
Liberty has also drastically improved its engine technology. Starting in 2020, the company began implementing new diesel engines into its fleet. These engines use dynamic gas blending and have led to an 87% reduction in particulate matter emissions when compared to their original diesel engines. Liberty is also in the testing stages of an all-electric fracking fleet that they expect to bring to the road in three years.
Importantly, the company is bringing transparency to fracking’s impact on water, one of the biggest concerns that many environmentalists have. Liberty has revealed the composition of its fracking fluid, which is the water and other materials that are used in the energy extraction process. 99.83% of its fluid is water, most of which is recycled. The remaining components are soap (.1%), friction reducer (.05%), and bleach (.02%).
Liberty’s positive impacts extend beyond the environment and into the community. The company provides over 100 K-12 scholarships through the Alliance for Choice in Education (ACE). Additionally, the company gave over $350,000 in donations to local communities and $15,000 to Defy Colorado, a nonprofit that helps to transform the lives of current and formerly incarcerated individuals.
Liberty Energy is delivering on key ESG commitments that stakeholders and shareholders are beginning to expect in 2022. Beyond its incredible work at reducing its environmental impact, Liberty is striving to make meaningful progress toward alleviating energy poverty in the United States and abroad. Expect to see Liberty continue its leadership as the world looks for affordable, reliable, and responsible energy.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.